Increase or Decrease Text Size of Messages in OS X El Capitan & Yosemite
The Mac Messages app has long had the ability to change the text size and font of your messages and conversations, but the adjustment functions have changed a bit in OS X El Capitan and Yosemite. In Messages under OS X, you now have the option to increase or decrease the size of the San Francisco or Helvetica Neue system font used in conversations, but there is no longer an ability to change the actual font face or font weight.
Fortunately, changing the size of the messages text is really easy, so if you think the default choice of text is too small or too big, you can very quickly adjust the text size of conversations within the Messages app using either a slider or keyboard shortcuts.
How to Change the Messages Text Size in OS X with Keyboard Shortcuts
Much like the keyboard shortcut to increase or shrink text size in Safari, Chrome, TextEdit, Pages, and many other apps, you’ll find the keystrokes to be the familiar variations of the + and – keys:
- Increase font size of Messages: Command +
- Decrease font size of Messages: Command –
Yes, that’s a + as in Plus sign, and – as in minus sign. Tap each repeatedly to go to the maximum size text, or the minimum size text, respectively.
Here’s an example of what the largest Messages text size looks like (ignore the gibberish autocorrect and word suggestion bar conversation):
Adjusting Text Size through Messages Preferences
You can also adjust the text sizes of message conversations with the Preference panel using the “Text Size” slider:
Note that both the text size slider and keyboard shortcuts will hit the same maximum font size and minimum font size limitation. The minimum size looks to be about size 6, whereas the maximum font size appears to be around size 18.
Changing the text size can be helpful if you find the Messages text size to be too small or too big to read comfortably by default. Another tweak which may help some users without a retina display is to change the font smoothing anti-aliasing setting in OS X Yosemite too. It’s worth noting that setting Increased Contrast makes no difference on the messages conversation appearance, though it will impact how user interface elements appear within the Messages window, and will prevent the transparent effect of the message window and sidebar.
A similar trick can be used on the iOS side of things if you find the iPhone messages font to be too small or too large as well.